This is a scary story. You know when you’ve been working very hard on something – put all your heart and soul into it, plus more hours than you can count, given up things you’d really like to do in order to work some more – and at last you can see the end in … Continue reading
Author Archives: Julia Lee
Beef tea and a soothing hand on the brow: illness in children’s books
I’ve been ill. I might still be ill when this post goes up – or ill again. That’s how this winter has gone and I am totally fed up with it. Although I’ve been very healthy all my adult years (until recently) this takes me back to my childhood when I missed most of every … Continue reading
So I wrote down all my wishes…
‘All my books were about ponies or horses, as that’s all I thought about when I was a child. I couldn’t have a pony of my own as we lived in a town and my parents couldn’t afford it. So I wrote down all my wishes and invented ponies whose life stories I followed: good … Continue reading
Writing someone else’s diary
“18th January. Got up. Had breakfast. Went to school. Maths test. Raining.” It’s easy to see why the diaries I began each new year in my schooldays never lasted more than a few weeks. I didn’t need a diary to point up how boring my life was! It wasn’t just the lack of momentous events … Continue reading
Is storytelling in the DNA?
My mother would have been 90 today. Although she never wrote any fiction in her life, she was definitely a storyteller. She filled my childhood with stories of her childhood, over and over, so that my imaginary versions of the settings for many of these tales are still fixed in my head today. She told … Continue reading
Writing Tips I Have Ignored No 3: know your characters inside-out
Of course you need to know a lot about your characters, and by the time you finish writing the first draft of your book you will, – but 100%, inside-out, every breath and thought and reaction they could ever have? And work all this out before you dare put pen to paper – or these … Continue reading
Boarding school and me
I never really got into boarding school stories when I was a girl. There were books and comic strips galore but it didn’t really appeal. I know this means I missed out on a whole bunch of well-loved books – Chalet School, Malory Towers, (Harry Potter had not happened yet) – but although I read … Continue reading
Looking for inspiration
Inspiration for a story often starts with the question ‘What if…?’ You hear about a situation in the news, or in a historical context, or from a friend, and think, ‘What if I were in that situation? What would I do? How would that feel?’ It’s not usually about me, but ‘someone’ – a character already magically … Continue reading
Where do you read?
Considering the number of hours I spend reading, where I read is pretty important. No. 1 – In bed. This has been my favourite since I was little. It was probably the only place I could read for ages uninterrupted, without being told I always had my “nose in a book” or asked to come … Continue reading
Inspired by Boredom – writers recommend it!
Last Saturday I was on a panel with other authors and one of the questions the audience asked was ‘What inspired you to start writing stories?’ And the answer we all came up with was – ‘We were bored!’ What we didn’t say was ‘We were board and it was awful!’, but ‘We were bored … Continue reading